Roundup of Unusual Size: Tropebusting, Fan Portals and the Seven Pillars of Game Design (Now with more Nightmare Mode!)

Steampunk Portal fanart by risachantag @ deviantArt

I’m pleased to announce, as I did earlier today on Twitter, that starting immediately the Roundups of Unusual Size will be also reblogged at Dire Critical friend Patricia Hernandez’s fantastic Nightmare Mode game news and commentary site. Maybe this will give me some impetus to get them done earlier in the day from now on. *shifty glance*

I’ve no idea how Patricia is intending to introduce these to her readers but for all those just joining us by syndication or link, welcome to the ROUS! We’re sort of like Critical Distance, except we post on the six days of the week that Ben Abraham doesn’t, and there are usually more non-game-related articles… So I guess we’re actually more like Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s Sunday Papers, except less British.

Like the CD crew, I too accept article recommendations, so if you find a piece you want promoted (on any geektacular subject) please feel free to send it my way by Twitter or email!

Videogames

Kotaku’s Luke Plunkett takes a break from the publication’s usual rumor-mongering and lingerie-clad obscure Japanese voice actresses for a nice mini-biography of Satoshi Tajiri, the man who gave us Pokemon.

Did you preorder Duke Nukem Forever way back in 1997? Don’t worry. GameStop will still honor it.

The Border House’s new guest post tackles some of the problematic underpinnings of game “matriarchies.” And, of course, I’m a total geek for the title.

And as always, as Monday rolls around I like to take a look back at Sunday’s Critical Distance roundup to deliver a few choice picks of my own:

First, Tanner Higgin at Gaming the System muses about the trap of representation: “From my perspective, if we are to adequately describe and transform how race is communicated in videogames, we need to focus our attention on how representation is structured, and the politics of production behind this structure. Without an eye to the underlying causes of inequities in representation, our critiques of stereotype, or calls for multi-racial/ethnic/cultural equity will be severely limited in effect.”

Second, from Sarah Elmaleh, a post all about Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure that is absolutely perfect.

Lastly, a useful, practical and far-encompassing list of what makes games good by Tom Francis. I have few critiques for his observations here.

Fandom

I know that look in your eye. It says you want a Portal fan film. You’re welcome. Want more Portal fan production funtimes? Here is this amazing cosplay routine.

Film

Old Spice Guy as a Marvel superhero? Um… yes. Just yes.

SCIENCE!

Confound these mirrors, acting all quantum.

Sam Harris is kind of a jerkface, but quite honestly I think TED talks bring that out in everybody. Despite all efforts to focus on games reading this summer I keep getting distracted by discourses on determinism and religious skepticism, so this new blog post of his focused on exactly that is quite nice for a little distraction. (Since I’m out of Sherlock to watch. Sob.)

Curios

Out of the corner of my eye, I thought “PBS” was “PSN” and could only think “oh, not again.”

Via Jezebel’s Anna North, here is a piece on ABC News about how little sense combat restrictions on servicewomen make sense in wars that don’t have a front line. A familiar talking point, but I’d like if this got some sustained attention.

What a tragically missed opportunity to nuke them all from orbit. KKK counterprotesting the Westboro Baptist Church- who will survive?!

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Comments

  • Patricia Hernandez  On 05.30.11 at 9:09 pm

    EXCITEMENT FRIENDSHIP GO

    :P

    On topic: I’m a geek for that title too. Incidentally we just got Lizz (author of the matriarchy piece) to agree to join the Nightmare Mode staff 8D

    • Kris Ligman  On 05.30.11 at 9:14 pm

      TRULY, FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC.

      (Do I covertly want to do a MLP:FiM music video to “The Power of Love”? Hush, of course not.)

      And that is super exciting news! I can’t wait to see more from her.

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